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Happy V-Day Eve!

Tomorrow PUMP Theatre performs VENT for Soroptimists International with an audience forum about love and violence. These are a group of women leaders who are professionals and in their ‘spare’ time do lots of great works to support to empower women to have better lives. I will be younger than most of the women in the room, and so will my actors. How could I possibly have anything to offer that’s new or worthy?

Appreciation is necessary

As it is Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I have bought a posie of fresh red roses that Bella will receive and place in a vase on the coffee table that divides her mother ‘Rosa’ and father ‘Dan’. The actress playing Bella is 19 years of age. I told her that I managed to acquire some fresh red roses at a good price from the market (as it is Friday today!). She was very excited and stated that ‘they may be the only red roses she ever receives on Valentine’s Day’, and the SMS conversation went something like this:

Me In my standards, flowers are a necessity!

Her I agree. I’ve had to drop subtle hints to my boyfriend.

Me Mmm. I think we should discuss this issue in tomorrow’s forum – What does it mean when your partner doesn’t DO flowers?

Her  Good idea. I think Valentine’s Day is often more important to women than men! We like to feel cherished:)

Me  Yes and we deserve to be cherished!

Her   Exactly:) showing a little bit of love and appreciation goes a long way. 

Then I remembered times when I had boyfriends that were anti-flowers ‘Oh they are waste of money, and they will be dead in a few days’. Our relationship died quickly after such revealing statements. I also remember times when I received flowers from men I admired but wasn’t in love with, and from men I was in love with. I felt sorry that I could not reciprocate the feelings to the men who had sweet and honorable intentions. 

Emotions are good

Nevertheless the candles in my heart lights up when I receive a surprise bunch of flowers from anyone, but especially a man I admire.

It’s something that I feel acknowledges my femininity, softness, and emotions. That is not a bad thing. At times we can become like ‘soldiers’, if our femininity is rejected, and whilst fighting for a cause that seems relentless and at times futile. 

If you really love someone, give them violets

My father grew flowers in our garden – and I used to sell them to passersby for $2 a bunch. My mother always had flowers, and they meant more because Dad grew them and she could see the efforts Dad put into the garden, and was always delighted when picked a special bunch just for her. Dad always said that if you really love someone you would give them violets. When my father died, my mother explained that violets are very hard to pick – you have to get down on your hands and knees because they are so small and fragile. My father often gave my mother violets as a sign of his enduring love for her. My mother laid a posy of violets on my father’s coffin at his funeral. 

Keep planting

In preparing tomorrow’s forum I wrote a quick poem – it’s not about flowers, then again maybe it is. It’s just an anthem to remind myself and the audience about why we bother to work for the elimination of violence, particularly against women and children. Often it seems that domestic violence is a ‘women’s issue’ and therefore women have to fix it. The most romantic gesture a man could do on Valentine’s Day is to swear never to commit any form of violence against his partner or children, regardless of sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, or spiritual beliefs. 

Our work as women is never finished

We advocate for ourselves and other women


Our work is a series dawns and dusks

Fires and floods

Bushfires and blackouts

deaths and resurrections

wins but more often losses

We do the work

Because we want the other girl

or the other woman sitting next to us

To never endure what we may have endured

And to carry on our legacy

Happy Valentine’s Day to you.  May you be cherished, loved, and valued for who you are, as you are.

Josephine xoxox



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